January's marketing effort: enhance cervical health awareness

Start the year by making a commitment to supporting women’s health. Join the National Cervical Cancer Coalition in observing Cervical Health Awareness Month. Cervical health continues to be an important priority for women long after menopause. Help spread the word about this important health issue.

  • Raise awareness about the importance of cervical health through your various social media feeds. Come up with posts and Tweets that are relevant to your followers or start with these ready-made Tweets from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
  • Participate in local health fairs this month and spread the word about the need for many post-menopausal women to continue receiving pelvic exams and Pap tests. Be sure to have plenty of agency collateral on hand. Current guidelines recommend that women continue receiving regular pelvic exams and Pap tests through age 65, as long as they have three negative tests within the past 10 years. However, Pap tests should continue to be used to diagnose symptoms or problems as needed. It also is important for older women to continue discussing pelvic health with their doctors, including the addition of sexual partners. Older women who have not received a Pap test in many years may benefit from an exam. Medicare fully covers the cost of a Pap test/pelvic exam once every 24 months for all covered women and once every 12 months for those at high risk.
  • Bring your local health care partners together and sponsor a women’s forum presentation series. Visit four different church, civic or support groups and offer a 90-minute presentation about women’s health issues, including cervical and breast health, screening and cancer. Take the opportunity afterward to talk about the respite care your agency provides in the home.
  • Add information about HPV and cervical cancer to your agency’s newsletter. TAG Partners offers ready-made newsletters to get you started.
  • Did you know that older women in minority populations are at greater risk of developing cervical cancer? African American women age 65 and older are more than twice as likely to have cervical cancer or die from cervical cancer. Hispanic women in this age group have an incidence rate nearly twice as high as white women. Reach out to your community’s Hispanic and African American communities at local community and church groups to spread this important health message.
  • Smoking isn’t only responsible for cases of lung cancer — it’s a factor for developing cervical cancer as well. Studies show that smokers are twice as likely to develop cervical cancer than non-smokers. Distribute information to local senior centers about the effects of smoking on women and of the harms of smoking, including education about the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke. Start at the websites for Smokefree Women and the National Cancer Institute.

Start making your 2017 outreach plans with Medical Group Practice Week

Now that we're well into December, it's time to start looking toward January's home health marketing plans. A great place to start is National Medical Group Practice Week (Jan. 23-Jan. 27).

This healthcare observance provides an excellent opportunity to connect with important referral sources and recognize their hard work. 

  • Contact your local newspaper and offer to write a guest editorial about medical group practices and their continuing role in modern healthcare. If your request is denied, write a letter to the editor that expresses your appreciation for this group.
  • Co-sponsor an afternoon bake sale with a medical group practice and donate the proceeds to the practice’s indigent fund or to the National Medical Group Practice Association.
  • Schedule an instructional lunch to train physicians on Transitional Care Management. This physician-performed service took effect in January 2013 and allows doctors and other approved providers to be reimbursed for the work they do to transition a patient from a hospital setting to the community after discharge. Get a jump start on this strategy with personalized TCM collateral.
  • Team up with a local group practice and co-sponsor a blood drive (after all, January also is National Blood Donor Month). Have plenty of agency collateral on hand and provide goodies for those who donate.
  • Place an advertisement in your local newspaper thanking a local medical office staff for its support of your agency.

By having your January plans off to a solid start, you'll set the course for a successful year.

Time is running out to cash in on this proven marketing tool

Don't panic, but 2017 is only a few short weeks away. Even though the new year is almost here, it's not too late to create your own branded promotional calendar. They're an excellent way to maintain a constant presence in the offices of referral sources and community stakeholders all year long.

Although it’s true that people increasingly turn to smartphones and other devices to track their planning, wall calendars maintain an ever-present place of prominence on home and office walls nationwide. Take notice as you move through your own office and through homes and offices you encounter in your daily activities. You’ll see that wall calendars and printed planners haven’t gone anywhere.

A recent study by Promotional Products Association International and the Calendar Advertising Council found a majority of Americans still use wall calendars at home and work. What’s more, the study found:

  • 74% of people could remember the name of the company advertised on their wall calendar
  • 72% of people could remember the product or service advertised on their wall calendar
  • 71% of people did business with the company that gave them the calendar before they received it
  • 70% of people planned to do business again with the company that gave them the calendar
  • 48% of people had a more favorable impression of the advertiser
  • 41% of people referred a friend to the company that gave them the calendar

It stands to reason that if you add an educational element to your already attractive promotional wall calendar, it becomes exponentially more useful.

TAG Partners provides a range of specialized wall calendars for home health, hospice and private duty home care. These calendars educate about common conditions and services you provide while they keep your company in front of referral sources, clients and potential clients every day of the year. They also list many healthcare observances relevant to the field.

Order your home care calendars by Dec. 16 to have an eye-catching giveaway before the end of the year. You'll be able to distribute traditional wall calendars during upcoming community events and meetings with referral sources.

You also can equip your staff with durable and indispensable weekly planners and monthly planners to help them stay organized. The spiral-bound weekly planners include plenty of space to keep track of appointments and notes, and also include health care observances. Notebook planners and pocket planners promote convenient and at-a-glance planning.

Call 866.232.6477 today to get started.

October Digest: Get more referrals with these great ideas

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. As our nation’s senior population grows, more Americans will be living with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 5.4 million Americans already are living with the disease, making it the most common form of dementia.

  • Present a free class on staying mentally sharp at your area senior centers. The Exercise Your Brain class from the Health Matters Education Series offers an easy-to-follow presentation about ways to keep mentally fit to stave off problems in memory and thinking. Find it at www.tagwebstore.com/healthmatters-education-series.php.
  • After the class, leave behind puzzle books personalized to your agency to not only keep these potential clients mentally engaged, but to create broader awareness of your agency and educate about the benefits of home health, hospice or private duty care. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/puzzlebook.php.
  • Visit with local neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists and geriatricians to tell them about your Alzheimer’s program. Demonstrate your agency’s serious focus on working with Alzheimer’s patients by showing off your Alzheimer’s disease patient education guide. Find it at www.tagwebstore.com/patient-education-guides.php. Leave behind stacks of your Alzheimer’s disease information brochures in their waiting rooms. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/disease-information-brochures.php.

If you haven’t ordered personalized home care or hospice calendars yet, it’s time to stop waiting. Agency calendars are a durable, useful tool that your referral sources, prospects and patients will refer to all year long. This is one of the most cost effective and versatile tools you can have in your marketing toolbox – don’t gloss over this once-a-year opportunity to make sure your name, services and logo are font and center with everyone in your service area. It’s something they will WANT to see every day. Order by Oct. 31 and automatically get 25 free with every 100 calendars that you order.

When your staff isn’t in the home with a client, someone else usually is. It’s someone who does hour after hour of work with no expectation of pay or recognition. And it’s someone we are all grateful for: the family caregiver. November is National Family Caregivers Month. It’s a wonderful time to show family caregivers that what they’re doing matters far more than they know.

  • Visit caregiver support groups in your area and supply refreshments for a meeting in November. Ask to address the group and tell them about the benefits of home care, making sure to distribute your agency’s marketing brochures. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/marketing-brochures.php.
  • Distribute FAQ brochures to all the libraries and coffee shops in your area. Be sure to leave them at community counters wherever possible. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/faq-brochures.php.
  • Make the lives of your patients and their family caregivers easier by giving them a clear guide that shows them when their symptoms require a call to emergency services, to their home health nurse, or require no action at all. Zone flyers make this simple and are personalized to your agency. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/zone-flyer.php.
  • Set up a booth at community events this month and distribute agency materials, including disease information brochures personalized to your agency. These brochures educate on specific conditions and tell how home health, private duty or hospice care can help. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/disease-information-brochures.php.